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Mold/Damp

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1253 views 3 replies latest reply: 30 January 2014
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Tenant

I live in a housing association property myself and 2 children. I have been here for nearly 2 years. In the 2 years i have been here i have had a terrible time with this property. The problem has been down 2 damp/ mold. I have had the environmental health out who served my housing association notice because there was not adequate ventilation in my front room. The complied putting in trickle vents to get round the situation which if anyone knows they do pretty much diddly squat. I have had mold throughout the property i have done my part which is to keep windows open and heating on low to keep the humidity levels low. I have a humidity clock thing which tells me the humidity levels in my property i have this in 2 of my rooms as its very small the reading is pretty accurate throughout. I have had mold treats done in most of my property i have had humidistat extractor fans installed and new radiators installed. I have also after much persistence got them to put in new patio doors with openers as i said trickle vents do not work. The problem has been going on in this property since i moved here but however i no for fact it was here before as when i called up the first time to say about damp and mold in the property they read me a hole list of previous repairs from the previous tenant!! I have also heard from the gentleman doing the mold treatment that he had been out to this property many many times. So any ways i have gone through there complaints procedure and contacted the housing ombudsman i have had 3 surveyors the last one being last week. I received compensation but however the complaint was still open as all works had not been completed. So the ombudsman phoned me last week to ask where things were at i explained there was still a damp and mold issue but patio doors were on she asked if the housing had contacted me back i said no but i was apparently supposed to have heard from them so she was going to call them. In the meantime i emailed pictures to environmental health and my housing association that’s why they sent out another surveyor. He gave me a little bit more info and was a lot more shall we say in-between in his judgement he said there is an element of condensation but however there are other factors especially in my bathroom the reading he got at low levels were off the chart on his reader. He concluded by saying that he was going to put this property to the board as its one of a number of older properties they have however it may take many months. What i wasn’t sure is what he meant by this? does it mean they are going to move me? He also said they may not except his recommendation so im kind of unsure where i stand as i am still in a complaint with them and now im worried about this over Christmas. All i ever really wanted was for this to be rectified so i could have proper living conditions for me and my children. any advise please

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Tenant

Hi Dee, you certainly seem to have had your share of problems with damp. In terms of the surveyor stating that he would put the problem to the board, presumably he will discuss it with the board members of the housing association who will then come to a decision as to what needs to be done to resolve the issue. What are you worried about over Christmas? Is it that they may move you? This would be unlikely over the Christmas period and of course if you are worried about the problem not being resolved, it is also not likely to happen over Christmas. However, you have done really well in approaching all the right people and organisations to help you and the Housing Ombudsman is clearly keeping track of what is going on.

Mould is damaging to your health so you might want to have a word with your GP to add to the support that you already have.

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Landlord

We had a problem similar to what you’re describing at an ex-council flat. Despite numerous requests, the council refused to investigate. We advised the tenants to call Environmental Health and – on their advice – we installed extractors, even though they had never been necessary before. We also stripped, replastered, and redecorated. The tenants followed all the advice about ventilation, but the problem remained, only kept under control by use of the dehumidifier we provided. It was hugely frustrating for all of us. Eventually I discovered that the flats below had exactly the same problem on the same wall but were being ignored. A tenant also noticed that although the problem was there all the time, it became much more severe after heavy rainfall. We then checked the gutters and realised that – even from the ground – we could see plants growing in the them! Armed with pictures, we finally got the council to do something, i.e. clean out the gutters so that water wasn’t pouring down the wall and also breaching the cavity wall. Hey presto, no further problems. It turned out that the council had no regular maintenance programme and only did them when they received complaints. It might be worth enquiring whether this damp problem could also be caused by water penetration and not lack of adequate ventilation. I really hope that it is AND that they fix it for you.

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Tenant

Well its the new year and the problems are continuing. I have the housing ombudsman phoning emailing my housing association and getting very little or no response other than we will be writing to the tenant. I have had no phone calls no emails or any letter. I have also emailed and phoned. I have now as of today re contacted environmental health to get them back involved and from the reaction they cant believe the way my landlord has behaved and they most defiantly will be looking into it again. Today i sent out 3 pictures to my housing that i took from my bedroom of a damp patch all the way along one side of the wall. This wall as i told them before has nothing along that side touching it it cant or it gets covered in mold so why is there still damp coming through? I took the levels of humidity this morning it was slightly higher but this is normal when its raining and it then lowered when i took the pictures of the damp it was 55 that was mid morning and that’s within normal levels. I have had a plumber come out to look in my bathroom he checked underneath for a leak there was a tiny leak which in his professional opinion would not cause the problems that i had experienced in there and he believes it is the damp course. I am quite honestly sick and tired of all of this now.

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